Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 19 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa, The Big Hash, Nduduzo Makhathini and more.

Our list of the best South African songs of the month includes new singles that dropped in October, alongside those that were highlighted by getting the music video treatment.


Check out our selections below, which feature Costa Titch, Tshego, Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa and Big Zulu among others.

The list is in no particular order.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa "eMcimbini" (featuring Aymos, Samthing Soweto Mas Musiq & Myztro)

Another heater from the duo that can't seem to tire of making hits. "eMcimbini" combines a selection of vocalists for another amapiano anthem.

Tshego "No Ties (Amapiano Remix)" (featuring King Monada and MFR Souls)

The remix for Tshego and King Monada's "No Ties" comes with the customary amapiano bassline and a selection of pads and prominent percussion. Tshego and King Monada's vocals sit as if they were originally constructed over the bouncy instrumental.

​DJ Switch (featuring. Robin Thirdfloor) "Nangu Shoes"

Robin Thirdfloor teams up DJ Switch, a deejay who's always on the lookout for new talent. Robin Thirdfloor delivers laid-back rhymes and pays homage to the late South African soccer legend John "Shoes" Mosheu and lets you know about himself too.

​Skhandaworld "Killa Combo" (featuring K.O, Tellaman, Zingah, Mariechan & Loki)

K.O gathers an unlikely combination of artists for a laidback tune about being a perfect fit for your partner.

​Big Zulu "Amamillion (Remix)" (featuring Zakwe, YoungstaCPT, Musiholiq and Kwesta)

Big Zulu enlists some of the country's hardest lyricists for a remix of his 2019 hit "Amamillion." You'll have this one on repeat, if not for the bars, for the catchy hook.

Kanyi "Lobola"

n her latest song, Kanyi Mavi is whipped. Her love for the man who stole her heart is driving her to pay amalobolo. A progressive move from Kanyi as that's normally the man's role in most African cultures.

​Watermark High "That's the Spirit"

Watermark High kicks off the year with an alt pop tune blends a muffled vocal sample with rich electronic instrumentation. It will come in handy both on the dance floor and for cooling out to.

Gemini Major "Right Now" (featuring Nasty C, Tellaman, AKA, The Big Hash and Emtee)

South African hip-hop royalty in one song that was already great in its original form.

​Costa Titch "Nkalakatha Remix" (featuring AKA and Riky Rick)

Costa Titch gives his AKA and Riky Rick-assisted remix to his viral hit "Nkalakatha" a new life with a music video.

​Kimosabe "Don't Call Me Baby"

A standout song from Kimosabe's latest offering Nights, Vol. 3, "Don't Call Me Baby" is a comforting smoothie in which the artist establishes boundaries for a relationship based on sex and nothing else.

​ByLwansta "The Bike Song"

The talented rapper turns a terrible incident—a robbery in Joburg—into a lovely anecdotal rappity rap song that showcases his top tier pen game.

J Molley and Ka$hCpt "Narcos"

Two South Africa's most popular and talented hip-hop artists go back and forth about living the life you and I only see in series and movies in this viral collaboration.

Nduduzo Makhathini "Beneath The Earth"

Another outstanding composition from Nduduzo Makhathini in which two voices go back and forth about the ancestors (those who are beneath the earth), "Beneath the Earth" is a song from his upcoming album Modes ofCommunication: Lettes from the Underworlds, which will be released via Blue Note Records.

Black Noise "We Belong to the Land" (featuring Burni Aman)

A song about the burning issue of land reform in South Africa, "We Belong to the Land" contains strong performances from Black Noise members Jean Pierre and Emile YX? and guest Burni Aman, who spits the strongest verse which sounds like a modern day fairy tale.

​Maraza "Angisabaleki"

Maraza returns with a single about self-reassurance. Beyond the messaging, the song excels based on Maraza's proficiency with the pen and technical skills.

​M2Kane "Ferrari"

If you prefer your trap with hard bars, don't look further than "Ferrari" by the Eastern Cape lyricist M2Kane.

Blaklez "Lepara"

Blaklez rides a Makwa beat that is inspired by old school kwaito. If you understand Sipitori (Pretoria slang), Blaklez will keep you entertained throughout. If not, the flows and the beat will do.

​Speedsta (featuring Espiquet) "Airplane Mode"

Espiquet always spits solid bars. "Airplane Mode" by Speedsta is another instance of him showcasing his sharp skills on the mic. "Airplane Mode" could have done with a better hook, but it still slaps.

Mr JazziQ (featuring Focalistic & Busta 929) "Hello Mo'Girl"

In true amapiano fashion, the instrumental to "Hello Mo'Girl" is built over a deep bassline reminiscent of 90s and 2000s kwaito. Focalistic raps with the personality and light-heartedness that's at the heart of kwaito and amapiano. His lines are sparse in form and lyrically, they are easy on the ear, with catchphrases that you'll catch if you are educated enough to understand Pitori slang.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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